Does Interpretation Two solve the Daniel 9 Prophecy?
587 BC – 538 BC and 606 BC – 165 BC
This theory is a relatively recent and standalone interpretation that also advocates a literal 490 years. However, it is not seen in a linear timeline where each marker ‘connects together’, but rather that there are two separate timelines that ‘overlap’ each other.
Similar to ‘Interpretation One’, this model positions the argument to start from the third Babylonian siege of Jerusalem (the year that Nebuchadnezzar caused the collapse and destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple and Wall in 587 BC), and therefore asserts that the “seven weeks” concludes in the year 538 BC.
However, the “62 weeks” does not begin from this marker as expected (i.e. continuing on from 538 BC), but rather starts back in time to the first Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in 606 BC (the very year that Nebuchadnezzar came onto the world stage to begin his conquests). It is therefore argued that the “62 weeks” concludes in the year 172 BC (i.e. 606 BC minus 434 years = 172 BC). This approach aims to rectify the “62 weeks” inaccuracy of ‘Interpretation One’.
We therefore see that the final “one week” follows on from this timeline marker (i.e. 172 BC) in order to represent the period 172 BC to 165 BC. Considering this “seven year” period does not exactly align to the historical records, it is seen as being ‘close enough’ to the surrounding events of Antiochus Epiphanes (i.e. having an inaccuracy of only one year). Within this “last week”, the “abomination of desolation” was the horrific act of this “Anointed King” who sacrificed a pig on an altar, as well as forbidding any Jewish religious practices.
Although this model aims to demonstrate a literal 490 year period (i.e. 587 BC to 538 BC = 49 years … and… 606 BC to 165 BC = 441 years), the arguments in opposition to this particular interpretation are virtually the same as those in ‘Interpretation One’.
To recap, the biblical record surrounding the Babylonian war in 587 BC shows no edict or reference of a “commandment to rebuild and restore Jerusalem”. None whatsoever!! And although the “seven weeks” wants to advocate a 49 year period, there is no historical event that occurred in 538 BC (i.e. 587 BC minus 49 years = 538 BC), other than the date being seemingly close to the Persian invasion of Babylon in 536 BC. In other words, nothing happened that year that represents the “Anointed One” issuing the decree.
And with regard to the final “one week”, if we were somewhat gracious with our timelines and allow the ‘one year’ inaccuracy (which is still questionable) due to empire changes (i.e. calendar transitions from Babylonian to Greek to Roman), scholars would still argue that there is no actual evidence that Antiochus IV Epiphanes issued any “covenant” that prevailed over that “seven years” period. No evidence at all!!
And with regard to signing off the “70 weeks” period, there is no historical marker that signifies a “sealing of righteousness” in the year 165 BC (or even 164 BC). Nothing!!! Zippo!!!
Overall, despite the interesting concept to overlap two timelines (which may also be questionable), ‘Interpretation Two’ cannot be banked on as being truth. Even if one aspect of the argument falls down, then the entire argument falls down.
For a visual description of ‘Interpretation Two’, please refer to the chart below: